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Things to do in Sydney this weekend

Find all the best events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Photograph: Jess Husband

Stuff your weekend with brawn, we've compiled the meatiest collection of activities for you. Sip very posh wines at a boutique festival or enjoy a craft brew with a view of the zoo. In the mood for some sit-down entertainment? Check out the fringe gems at Bondi Feast or bunker down in The Ritz and watch some Hollywood classics. That's one spicy weekend.

What's on this weekend?


Every Dog Will Have Its Day

Emerging curators (and former MCA colleagues) Sophia Cai and Kathleen Lin have teamed up for an exhibition that puts the fun and play back in curation, and explores the relationship between humans and dogs. Every Dog Will Have Its Day brings together the work of ten artists from around Australia who explore dog/human relations in their work, in some cases for many years.

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Casula Powerhouse , Casula Until Thursday September 7 2017

Unashamedly Original

A two-day festival of genre-defying music and art is taking over the City Recital Hall. Unashamedly Original celebrates the weirder side of music and art, with a line-up of artists whose work isn’t easily defined. The festival kicks off with the musically adventurous Speak Percussion and the first of their two festival performances, TRANSDUCER. Expect to re-evaluate your opinion of the humble microphone as they explore how the technology can be used as an expressive instrument in its own right. 

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City Recital Hall , Sydney Until Sunday July 23 2017

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair

Stave off the winter blues by bunkering down in on of Sydney's favourite bottleshops for its own wine showcase. The Boutique Wine Fair is all about giving you the chance to try drops from some of the country's most exciting young winemakers – so think organic or biodynamic and minimal intervention makers – alongside the top importers. The Oak Barrel will also be opening up the backrooms to allow for plenty of room for tastings and discussions. 

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Saturday July 22 2017

Zoo Brew Festival

Put it in your diary and double underline it: the highly anticipated Zoo Brew Festival is coming to Mosman’s Taronga Centre. The inaugural festival will feature a variety of local and much-loved craft brews from more than 20 breweries. The best part? The festival will take place beside the picture-perfect Harbour and Taronga Zoo. Your admission ticket will get into the Taronga Centre festival zone, a glass tasting cup, ten beer samples and a 50 per cent discount on zoo entry tickets. 

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Taronga Centre , Mosman Until Sunday July 23 2017

Scandinavian Film Festival

The fourth Scandinavian Film Festival is now on with films from Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Sweden, screening at Palace Norton Street and Palace Verona. “It came about because Scandinavia makes so many amazing films and so many of them weren’t being picked up for distribution here, or even being picked up by the festivals,” says festival director Elysia Zeccola. “I think audiences are drawn to the dark tone of gripping Scandi noir dramas. The deadpan humour of Nordic comedies is also popular. Scandinavian films tend to have very well-drawn characters, the story is the main focus, not bells and whistles, and so I find myself getting absorbed in the drama.”       

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Around Sydney , Sydney Until Wednesday August 2 2017



Patricia Cornelius’s new play is an outright provocation as the title suggests. It dares to put three female characters on the stage who are rarely if ever given a theatrical voice. Rough, rude and irrevocably damaged, they are the kind of people most theatre-goers would cross the street to avoid – but under the rich talents of the playwright and the extraordinary direction of Susie Dee, they make a compelling and heartbreaking subject.  

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Seymour Centre , Darlington Until Saturday July 29 2017


If you've seen Nicole Car sing, then you'll know she's got the vocal chops to pull of this role – but does she have the naughty streak? She'll need it to play Egyptian courtesan Thaïs, whose powers of seduction are enough to divert the evangelising monk Athanaël from virtue to vice – or at least, lust. Singing opposite her is Québecois baritone Étienne Dupuis.  This will be a one-night-only staged concert – no set design or props, just a costumed cast and orchestra.  Single tickets for Thaîs are available from October 12. Until then, you can purchase tickets as part of a subscription. See what else is in the Opera Australia 2017 season.

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Saturday July 22 2017

Pyrmont Growers Market

The markets operate on the fourth Saturday of every month, running from 7.30am to noon, which means you can squeeze in a bacon and egg roll from Sutton Forest Meats – crisp rashers and a floury bun for $6 – and there’s still room for ginger ninja biscuits from Black Star Pastry. You can shop for fruit and veg from Roots Shoots and Leaves, fresh-cut flowers grown in Goldstone or wheels of Brie from Formaggi Ocello. There’s the Australian Gourmet Coffee Company, Little Marionette and Toby’s Estate for your caffeine hit. Plus, if you’re lucky, Egyptian food truck El Qahirah will be there dishing up fragrant bowls of koshary for $12. 

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Pyrmont Bay Park , Darling Harbour Until Saturday January 26 2019

1917: The Great Strike

This exhibition, curated by Carriageworks’ Nina Miall and City of Sydney historian Laila Ellmoos, brings together archival material and objects, oral history and newly commissioned art to explore the impact and legacy of the 1917 rail strike. The artists chosen to create work for the exhibition are Sydney-based artists Sarah Contos, Will French and Raquel Ormella, Melbourne artist Tom Nicholson (working with New York-based composer Andrew Byrne), and Darwin-based printmaker Franck Gohier.

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Carriageworks , Eveleigh Until Sunday August 27 2017

Space and Ennui: Japanese Contemporary Dance

Family friendly, energetic Japanese performing arts shows are coming to the Japan Centre. Space & Ennui is a stripped back contemporary dance performance by two talents from Japan: Teita Iwabuchi and KENTARO!!. Iwabuchi infuses Japanese martial arts and butoh into contemporary choreography. KENTARO!! grew up learning street dance, decided to incorporate dramatic elements into his choreography after learning contemporary dance. Each 30-minute solo performance is followed by a Q&A.

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Until Saturday July 29 2017

Classic Hollywood at the Ritz Cinema

The Ritz in Randwick is one of Sydney's true architectural gems, built in 1937 and one of only two Art Deco cinemas left in Sydney. A visit here can bring lustre to any film. To mark the 80th birthday of the Ritz, they have programmed a season of nine all-time Hollywood greats spanning 1939 to 1967, all of them digitally restored and all of them must-sees for everyone who loves movies.

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Ritz Cinema Randwick , Randwick Sunday July 23 2017 - Sunday August 20 2017

Brunch at Mrs Sippy

This Double Bay bar is doing a double shift on weekends when it goes into brunch-mode once the sun comes up. On Saturdays between 11am and 4pm you can enjoy bottomless Bloody Marys, rosé and sparkling along with a shareable breakfast menu. There's maple bacon sliders, Sydney rock oysters, barbecue king prawns and a brunch pizza with prosciutto, egg, heirloom tomato, ricotta and fresh basil. 

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Mrs Sippy , Double Bay Sunday July 23 2017 - Saturday August 26 2017

Bondi Feast

Five editions in, Bondi Feast is looking a lot like Sydney’s “unofficial Fringe”: a curated festival of new independent work, unusual work, boundary-breaking work and experiments – all for the kind of price point where you the viewer can also afford to take risks. There's been an evolution from a theatre-focused festival into a more diverse program that includes cabaret and comedy. This year, around 30 shows were selected from more than 70 submissions.

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Bondi Pavilion , Bondi Beach Until Saturday July 29 2017


In Pulitzer-nominated Theresa Rebeck's 2007 play, two sisters run aground in the surprisingly grubby arena of philately, after they inherit a stamp collection and attempt to cash in. In his review of the Broadway premiere of Mauritius, Time Out New York's Adam Feldman wrote: "Rebeck writes punchy dialogue and provides the requisite quota of who’s-zooming-who reversals, affording each character a fair share of venality; the show plays like a softer-nosed version of David Mamet’s rat-race dissections." This production is directed by Richard Cornally (The Credeaux Canvas; The Bench) and stars Brett Heath, Kitty Hopwood, Peter-William Jamieson, Emma Louise and Andy Simpson.

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New Theatre , Newtown Until Saturday July 29 2017

Jenny Watson: The Fabric of Fantasy

Using her daily experience and personal history as the subject, Jenny Watson paints female figures in a naive style, often with text alongside – thus deconstructing the idea of a 'painting' as a realist, singular image. Often these works are created on fabric. It hasn't always been so: in the early 1970s she painted in a realist style, using photographic sources – before transitioning to a more distinctive, personal style, influenced by the conceptual art movement. Watson's early work was also influenced by Melbourne's 1970s punk scene and New York's 1970s feminist movement. 

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Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) , The Rocks Until Monday October 2 2017

Paddy's Night Market

Paddy's Markets in Flemington is throwing its hat into the ring with a huge night food market in their undercover carpark. Filling the cavernous space with over 25 vendors, free arcade games, and live music, they've given themselves the competitive edge in Sydney's vortex of night markets, filling their version with irresistible elements that are sure to beckon even the most frost-fearing of food truck aficionados out into the cold. Expect fried chicken from Maverick Wings and Dirty Bird, Instagram-friendly burgers from Chur and more. There'll also be retro video games,  you can play for free. 

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Paddy's Organic Market , Homebush West Until Saturday August 5 2017

Rye July at the Glenmore Hotel

While some people are doing Dry July, the Glenmore is offering a month of whisky appreciation designed to take the edge off the cold weather and help educate punters in the fine art of the distilled grain. A special whisky menu will be available throughout Rye July, culminating in a ticketed Night of Whiskies on Thursday July 13, where the Glenmore’s cosy middle level becomes whisky central with tastings, meet the makers, cocktail master classes and canapés matched with whiskies. (But before we go any further – yes, we’re aware that there’s two spellings for whisk(e)y – whisky if you’re talking Scotland and Canada, whiskey if it’s Ireland or the USA. For simplicity’s sake we’ll go with whisky here! Inconsistent spelling is just one of the interesting whisky facts you might pick up during July at the Glenmore.)

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Glenmore Hotel , The Rocks Until Monday July 31 2017

Sunday Bloody Sunday

The Clare Bar will transform into the ultimate destination for a hangover cure every Sunday. Kicking off at noon, the bar will be slinging $12 Bloody Marys, with a menu featuring different riffs on the tomato-based classic, including the Bloody Scotsman with Johnnie Walker Black and bacon bits and the Bloody Maria with Don Julio Blanco tequila and agave. Add in Single O coffee, roast chorizo sausage rolls, and fried chicken burgers and you've got a one-stop-shop for moving on up from the night before. 

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The Old Clare Hotel , Chippendale Sunday July 23 2017 - Sunday August 27 2017

The Plant

There’s a new current of artistic energy this year at the Ensemble Theatre. The little theatre in Kirribilli seems to be spending its 2017 season grabbing audiences with pleasantly quirky stories and finely-observed performances, and The Plant is no exception. Like a Little Shop of Horrors that’s traded the grotesqueries of greed for the realities of grief, this leafy death drama will make your heart sing. 

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Ensemble Theatre , Kirribilli Until Saturday August 5 2017

The Australian Artisan Cheese and Wine Experience

Eating cheese and drinking wine are both an easy tasks, but have you ever wanted to learn a bit more about these great culinary gifts? Then the Australian Artisan Cheese and Wine Experience is your chance to do that, on an island. This tour and gourmet moveable feast will showcase up-and-coming cheese and wine makers on Cockatoo Island, so you can try all the Gruyere, pinot grigio, cheddar and chardonnay you want. Cheese expert Claudia Bowman will be your guide for the day, taking you through canapés, a masterclass and tasting notes.

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Cockatoo Island , Sydney Until Thursday August 31 2017

Get ready for next weekend

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On a budget?

Cheap things to do in Sydney

If you know where to look, you can get by in the city for a lot less than you'd think. We've got cheap meals for every day of the week, tips for getting your mitts on cheap theatre tix, op shops for bargain hunters and dating ideas for the tight of wallet. 

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By: Time Out editors